A spokesman for the Central Asian state's emergencies agency said on Sunday, speaking from the capital, Astana, that the bodies of 23 workers had been recovered.

"Three injured miners have been taken to hospitals," he added.

He said there were 87 people working underground when the blast struck the Shakhtinskaya mine in the northern city of Karaganda. 

"There are no more people left in the mine at the moment. We have evacuated all the survivors," he said. 

There was no immediate information on what had caused the blast. The Shakhtinskaya mine is owned by Kazakhstan's ISPAT-Karmet metal giant.

At least eight people have died in mining accidents in the central industrial Karaganda region this year.